Isaac Bredeson
Isaac Bredeson

Hearts and Minds


Written by Isaac Bredeson, a Clemson University Junior

We’ve begun our second ‘theoretic course’ as the Russians call it on our schedule.  It is taught by our professor from Clemson, Dr. Layfield.  Our mission is to build a marketing campaign to inform and excite non-Russians about Russian culture.  To do this we’ll make a brochure, poster, and short film.  We also must make a plan to implement other media forms such as social networking sites and podcasts.  It’s beyond multimedia and is, as far as I can tell, omnimedia.

The class itself is two days a week from 9 AM to 4 PM with one hour for lunch.  That sounds like a long time, but it goes by surprisingly fast.  Rather than just listen to lectures for the entire time we are given small projects to complete during class.  We use the methods taught previously in the lecture portion.  Every class period is packed full of information; we’ve covered so far everything from font uses and nuances to how to take good-quality portraits.

We are split up in to three groups which are mixed so that there are a roughly even number of Russian-, French-, and English-speaking students in each group.  Having one native speaker of English in each group keeps everyone on the same page, and having Russians in each group makes sure that all groups have authorities on Russian culture. 

Maksim sporting Galya’s shades in the Mezhdunarodnaya station on our photo excursion.
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Maksim sporting Galya’s shades in the Mezhdunarodnaya station on our photo excursion.

Most recently our project for the day was to apply photography methods for a few hours in the Moscow metro system.  Moscow has some of the most beautiful and ornate metro stations in the world without a doubt, and we were charged with capturing it in clever ways.  My group hit the blue line and took photos of some of the oldest and newest stations in the system.  We were so focused on getting good shots that we were a tad late on returning, but we got the job done.  It’s so much more fun and effective to learn by doing than to merely take notes, yet another reason I’m glad I’m not stuck back in Clemson this semester.

Also in this Issue...

  • The Ceiling of Moscow by David Tyrpak
    "The view is astounding. We we're there at night and looking out you could see all of Moscow, like a living cell..."
  • The Phases of Russian Winter and the Importance of Good Footwear by Joey Kingerski
    "Walkways are routinely covered in water and on more than one occasion I have encountered a sidewalk that is nearly impassable.  The importance of good foot wear cannot be understated, and my boots have made it possible for me to walk around in recent weeks..."
  • Issue Photographer: Isaac Bredeson


The Phases of Russian Winter and the Importance of Good Footwear

Written by Joey Kingerski, a Clemson University Sophomore

Joe Kingerski
Joe Kingerski

On the night I arrived in Russia the weather was an unimaginably cold negative thirty Celsius.  When I had left Texas a day ago it was around twenty Celsius, and I had rarely experienced temperatures below zero Celsius in my life.  The fifty degree temperature shift was startling, to say the least, and Russia lived up to its reputation as a frozen tundra from the moment I arrived. 

In my month here I have found there are three phases to the Russian winter.  In the first few weeks we were here winter was still in its first phase - snow blanketed everything and temperatures never rose above zero Celsius.  The second and most painful phase of the Russian winter is when the snow beings to melt, but a thin layer of ice covers every street, sidewalk, and metallic surface imaginable.  This ice is deceptively slick and I fell flat on my backside on a number of occasions.  The third and final phase of

Maxim and Dave walk parallel to one of the rivers that has formed on a sidewalk.
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Maxim and Dave walk parallel to one of the rivers that has formed on a sidewalk.

winter is when the ice begins to thaw and puddles and mini lakes begin to cover the sidewalks and roads.

Exemplary footwear for surviving the Russian winter.
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Exemplary footwear for surviving the Russian winter.

Fortunately for us this third phase of winter seems to be almost over, and signs of spring are beginning to show themselves. 

While the changing of the seasons has been very pleasant there are a few drawbacks.  Russian winters have a lot of snow and ice, and now that the seasons are changing all of the frozen water is beginning to turn liquid.  Walkways are routinely covered in water and on more than one occasion I have encountered a sidewalk that is nearly impassable.  The importance of good foot wear cannot be understated, and my boots have made it possible for me to walk around in recent weeks.

Before coming to Russia Dr. Layfield advised me to buy a pair of ankle-high, solid, waterproof shoes.  He said I would be happy to have these shoes when March rolled around.  He could not have been more right, and I am finding that waterproof shoes are almost a necessity.  I have seen that many of my Russian classmates walk around in standard leather shoes and I cannot imagine how they do it.  With so much water on the ground and the temperatures not yet warm it is amazing that their feet do not just freeze off.  A sturdy winter jacket and a good pair of boots are two necessities I would advise any visitor to Russia to bring, but with spring quickly approaching I hope to return to the tennis shoes and t-shirts I am much more accustomed to.

 

 

 



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